A post from Shady Characters

Miscellany № 19

Shady Characters is in print at last! Well, in a sense. David Březina of Rosetta Type, who specialize in multi-script typography, approached me a little while ago to ask about including some snippets of text from Shady Characters in their first type specimen, and I was happy to agree. The specimen arrived in the post a few days ago, and so here we are:

Rosetta type specimen no. 1, complete with text from Shady Characters
Rosetta type specimen no. 1, complete with text from Shady Characters. (Dreadful photography is mine; elegant type layout is Rosetta’s.)

It’s no Catiline Oration, but I’m still pleased to have been able to help. Thanks to David for providing me with a copy; I think it looks great, and you can buy your own copy here for the very reasonable price of €4.

With respect to the real Shady Characters manuscript, I’m currently in the process of responding to Brendan Curry’s first round of edits. I must apologise if this leads to posts here becoming a little erratic for a while — bear with me, and hopefully the end result will be worth your patience.


In other news, Eye Magazine reports on the opening of the “Pencil to Pixel” exhibition in London, open from today, the 19th of November, until Friday 23rd. It examines the history of the Monotype Corporation over the past century, and frankly, it looks amazing. Last week I was lucky enough to get a quick tour of the Type Archive (the charity which inherited much of Monotype’s machinery and responsibilities when the company went bankrupt in 1992) at the invitation of Nick Gill of Hand & Eye Letterpress, though I’m now kicking myself that I wasn’t able to postpone my visit until this week. If you’re in or near London, you really should get along to this exhibition!


Also this month, the octothorpe’s starring role as the Twitter ‘hashtag’ gets some scrutiny from Julia Turner of the New York Times. Her article “#InPraiseOfTheHashtag” delves into the semantics and fashions surrounding the use of the device, and concludes with the welcome observation that “the pound sign [is] flexing its muscles”.

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